The Origins of Sex: A History of the First Sexual Revolution

Oxford University Press
2
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A man admits that, when drunk, he tried to have sex with an eighteen-year-old girl; she is arrested and denies they had intercourse, but finally begs God's forgiveness. Then she is publicly hanged alongside her attacker. These events took place in 1644, in Boston, where today they would be viewed with horror. How--and when--did such a complete transformation of our culture's attitudes toward sex occur? In The Origins of Sex, Faramerz Dabhoiwala provides a landmark history, one that will revolutionize our understanding of the origins of sexuality in modern Western culture. For millennia, sex had been strictly regulated by the Church, the state, and society, who vigorously and brutally attempted to punish any sex outside of marriage. But by 1800, everything had changed. Drawing on vast research--from canon law to court cases, from novels to pornography, not to mention the diaries and letters of people great and ordinary--Dabhoiwala shows how this dramatic change came about, tracing the interplay of intellectual trends, religious and cultural shifts, and politics and demographics. The Enlightenment led to the presumption that sex was a private matter; that morality could not be imposed; that men, not women, were the more lustful gender. Moreover, the rise of cities eroded community-based moral policing, and religious divisions undermined both church authority and fear of divine punishment. Sex became a central topic in poetry, drama, and fiction; diarists such as Samuel Pepys obsessed over it. In the 1700s, it became possible for a Church of Scotland leader to commend complete sexual liberty for both men and women. Arguing that the sexual revolution that really counted occurred long before the cultural movement of the 1960s, Dabhoiwala offers readers an engaging and wholly original look at the Western world's relationship to sex. Deeply researched and powerfully argued, The Origins of Sex is a major work of history.
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About the author

Faramerz Dabhoiwala is lecturer, tutor, and Senior Fellow in Modern History at Exeter College, University of Oxford, and is a member of the Royal Historical Society.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Oxford University Press
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Published on
May 1, 2012
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Pages
320
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ISBN
9780199892426
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Health & Fitness / Sexuality
History / Social History
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Michele Weiner Davis
It is estimated that one of every three married couples struggles with problems associated with mismatched sexual desire. Do you? If you want to stop fighting about sex and revitalize your intimate connection with your spouse, then you need this book. But The Sex-Starved Marriage is not just another book explaining the reasons you or your spouse might not be in the mood for sex. Bestselling author Michele Weiner Davis will help you understand why being complacent or bitter about ho-hum sex might cost you your marriage, and with her acclaimed psychobabble-free, straight-shooting advice, she'll show you how to bring the spark back into your bedroom and into your relationship.

Because relationship expert Weiner Davis is convinced that feeling sexy is a two-person job, she looks at the problem of -- and the solution to -- low sexual desire from a couple's perspective. Whether you're someone whose passion has faded or someone who's been hungering for touch, you'll learn life-altering lessons about bridging the desire gap and restoring intimacy and friendship to your marriage. And because Weiner Davis knows that one spouse is often more motivated than the other to work on a relationship, she offers creative ways to inspire your partner to change.

Separate chapters address the spouse who's hot, the one who's not, and then both together. If you're the spouse with a lagging libido, you're far from alone. And if you're a man, you'll be surprised to learn that staggering numbers of men, even men whose sexual machinery works just fine, "get headaches" too!

If you're the low-desire spouse, you'll learn about the physiological and psychological factors, including unresolved relationship issues, that may contribute to the chill in your bedroom. You'll learn the truth about sexual desire: that for millions of men or women it doesn't just happen; you have to make it happen. Finally, you'll find specific, pragmatic, and often provocative solutions to help you discover the siren or seducer within.

If you're the more highly sexed partner, you'll breathe a sigh of relief. At last someone understands your feelings about the void in your marriage. Discover why your pleas for touch have fallen upon deaf ears and why your approach to the lull in your sexual relationship could be a sexual turnoff. Most important, you'll find tools you can use to reach out in ways that will make your spouse more responsive. Finally, if your partner is willing, you will learn how to keep the flame of desire burning together.

Full of moving firsthand accounts from couples who have struggled with the erosion of sexual desire and rebuilt their passionate connection, The Sex-Starved Marriage will give you and your spouse the inspiration, encouragement, and answers you need to find your way out of a sex-starved marriage.
Faramerz Dabhoiwala
A man admits that, when drunk, he tried to have sex with an eighteen-year-old girl; she is arrested and denies they had intercourse, but finally begs God's forgiveness. Then she is publicly hanged alongside her attacker. These events took place in 1644, in Boston, where today they would be viewed with horror. How--and when--did such a complete transformation of our culture's attitudes toward sex occur? In The Origins of Sex, Faramerz Dabhoiwala provides a landmark history, one that will revolutionize our understanding of the origins of sexuality in modern Western culture. For millennia, sex had been strictly regulated by the Church, the state, and society, who vigorously and brutally attempted to punish any sex outside of marriage. But by 1800, everything had changed. Drawing on vast research--from canon law to court cases, from novels to pornography, not to mention the diaries and letters of people great and ordinary--Dabhoiwala shows how this dramatic change came about, tracing the interplay of intellectual trends, religious and cultural shifts, and politics and demographics. The Enlightenment led to the presumption that sex was a private matter; that morality could not be imposed; that men, not women, were the more lustful gender. Moreover, the rise of cities eroded community-based moral policing, and religious divisions undermined both church authority and fear of divine punishment. Sex became a central topic in poetry, drama, and fiction; diarists such as Samuel Pepys obsessed over it. In the 1700s, it became possible for a Church of Scotland leader to commend complete sexual liberty for both men and women. Arguing that the sexual revolution that really counted occurred long before the cultural movement of the 1960s, Dabhoiwala offers readers an engaging and wholly original look at the Western world's relationship to sex. Deeply researched and powerfully argued, The Origins of Sex is a major work of history.
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